§ 16. Mr. FLAVIN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether Mr. Browne, an auditor of the Local Government Board, has surcharged three guardians of the Listowel Union with the sum of£1 16s. paid for candles lit at Christmas in the chapel, infirm wards, and hospital of Listowel Workhouse; whether for the last thirty-four years there has been a similar expenditure each year in this workhouse without objection or surcharge by the auditors; whether during the previous three years, 1912, 1913, and 1914, Mr. Browne passed such expenditure without objection or comment; and will steps be taken to have the surcharge remitted and Mr. Browne informed that the lighting of candles by direction of the Catholic chaplain during the celebration of religious festivals is not illegal?
§ Mr. DUKE
The surcharge was made by the auditor, but he states that he was not informed that the lighting of the candles formed part of any religious observance. He made his surcharge under the impression that they were part of the Christmas decorations in the wards of the workhouse, which he thought to be in war-time an unnecessary expense for the ratepayers. The aggrieved persons appealed to the Local Government Board, and the Board issued an order remitting the surcharge. A copy of such order was, I believe, before the guardians at their meeting to-day.